Code Enforcement FAQ

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Code Enforcement FAQs


Q: Is there a County Ordinance that regulates construction start times?
A: There is no County wide Ordinance regarding construction start times, though the Sheriff's Office can respond to a construction noise complaint just as they would for a barking dog or loud stereo.

Q: Can I camp out on my own private property?
A: County Zoning Ordinances prohibit camping outside of a registered campground. These ordinances are not enforceable inside the National Forest boundaries.

Q: Can I run a commercial auto repair business or cabinet shop in my garage?
A: Generally no. Most zoning allows for a business office to be run from a home, but does not allow anything that will "change the residential nature of the neighborhood."

Q: Can my neighbors stay in a travel trailer?
A: Only with a permit. Planning Services can provide information regarding temporary permits that are available for uses such as construction, hardship and a caretaker.

Q: Can my neighbor store junk vehicles or abandoned appliances on his property?
A: County Ordinance states if your neighbor's collection meets the definition of visual blight or a public nuisance, your neighbor must remove it or store it inside a building.

Q: Can I use my garage for a bedroom, family room, or office?
A: County Ordinance states a structure can not be used "in a manner other than that for which it was originally approved". The CA Building Codes require a building permit for the change of use even if no construction is done.

Q: Do I need a building permit for a shed that is “portable” or “temporary”?
A: The CA Building Code requires a building permit for any structure greater than 120 square feet in floor area. Zoning setbacks are still required for all structures, even if no building permit is required.

Q: What if the building was built a long time ago?
A: El Dorado County created it's Building Services Department in 1959. If a structure predates that time and was built to the code at that time, has been "maintained in good repair" and is not hazardous, no retroactive permit will be required.

Q: What if the previous owner built the structure without a required permit?
A: As the current owner you are responsible. As part of the permit process, a California licensed architect or engineer will be required to evaluate the structure and submit a stamped and "wet" signed report that compares construction requirements at the approximate time the structure was originally built with current requirements.

Q: Do I need a building permit if I am just replacing my deck the same way it was built?
A: Yes. Only limited maintenance replacement of non-structural and non-safety components are allowed without a permit.

Q: What type of construction requires a building permit?
A: The CA Building Code requires a permit any time a structure is “erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted, or demolished”. There are a few exceptions such as small sheds, small retaining walls, and fencing 7 feet high or less.
Contact Building Services staff to see if your project requires a permit before you begin. It could save you time, money, and stress.

*El Dorado County Code Enforcement responds to citizen's complaints to protect the health and safety of residents. Though much of the information regarding a complaint is public information, the Complainant's information is kept confidential from the public. Anonymous complaints are not investigated.

Complaint Form

 

VHR Enforcement FAQ

General

Who enforces Vacation Home Rentals?   abandon-structure.jpg

VHR enforcement is a successful partnership between Code Enforcement and the Sheriff’s Department.  The Sheriff’s Department responds to in-progress complaints while Code Enforcement performs the investigative and administrative follow up.

Why is Vacation Home Rental enforcement important?

While Vacation Home Rentals provide a community benefit by expanding the number and type of rental lodging and assist owners by providing supplemental revenue, enforcing the VHR Ordinance prevents and mitigates complaints of nuisance activity to preserve the peaceful residential character of neighborhoods.

Owners

Why do I need to have a VHR Permit?

Completing the permitting application process demonstrates compliance with the minimum standards specified in the VHR Ordinance to ensure your property meets safety requirements, occupancy limits, trash requirements, signage, Local Contact certification, etc.  A valid VHR Permit is required in order to utilize your property as a Vacation Home Rental.  Unpermitted rentals are strictly enforced.

How do I apply for or renew my VHR Permit?

VHR Permits in the unincorporated area of El Dorado County are administered by Planning Services.  Planning Services has a dedicated team ready to process new applications and renewals.  Planning Services maintains a separate website with updated information about special requirements in the Tahoe Basin.  See the VHR Permitting page for more information:  https://www.edcgov.us/Government/planning/vhr

Can I rent my Vacation Home Rental property while my permit application is being processed?

No.  You must have a valid VHR Permit issued to you in order to utilize your property as a short-term / vacation rental.  Renting without a VHR Permit is a violation of the VHR Ordinance which will result in a fine and will invalidate your permit application.  Furthermore, per Chapter 5.56.170 you will be precluded from being eligible for a VHR Permit for a one year period.

Do I need a business license?

Yes.  A business license from El Dorado County is required.  Contact the County’s Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office for more information or visit their website at:  https://www.edcgov.us/taxcollector

Why do I need to pay Transient Occupancy Taxes?

Vacation Home Rentals are considered lodging which requires owners to comply with Transient Occupancy Tax requirements.  Contact the County’s Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office for more information or visit their website at:  https://www.edcgov.us/taxcollector

I want to use my home as a Vacation Home Rental in the Tahoe Basin but the permit cap has already been reached.  What can I do?

The number of active Vacation Home Rentals located in the Tahoe Basin is capped at 900 permits.  VHR Permitting staff has created a first-come, first-served waitlist.  Contact VHR Permitting staff for more information.  It is very important for owners with existing active VHR Permits to promptly renew their permits otherwise they may lose their permitting rights and be placed at the bottom of the wait list.

What happens if I rent my Vacation Home Rental without a valid VHR Permit?

Renting without a valid VHR Permit is a violation of the VHR Ordinance which will result in a fine and possible further enforcement action.  Furthermore, per Chapter 5.56.170 you will be precluded from being eligible for a VHR Permit for a one year period.

Is a special permit needed for a deck or hot tub at my Vacation Home Rental?

Hot tubs and most decks require building permits which are separate from your VHR Permit.  See our VHR Building Permits page for more information or contact Building Services.  Vacation Home Rental properties found to be operating without required building permits will be investigated and enforced by Code Enforcement staff and may jeopardize the status of your VHR Permit.

My Vacation Home Rental is located in the City of Placerville or City of South Lake Tahoe.  Do I need a VHR Permit from El Dorado County?

No.  A separate VHR Permit issued by El Dorado County is not required.  Contact your jurisdiction to learn more about their permitting requirements.

I received a Notice of Violation from Code Enforcement.  What do I do?

Notices are issued as a result of an investigation and determination that a violation has occurred for which the owner is responsible for.  You may either pay the fine or request an administrative hearing if you dispute the merits of the violation.  Requests for administrative hearings must include payment of the hearing fee plus the penalty amount.  See our Hearings page for more information.

How do I pay the fine?

Credit card payments can be made by creating an ETrakit account or mail a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order payable to “EDC Code Enforcement” to our Placerville office:

El Dorado County Code Enforcement
2850 Fairlane Court
Placerville, CA  95667


I don’t think my Notice of Violation is fair.  How can I contest it?

You may request an administrative hearing if you dispute the merits of the violation or penalty being assessed in your case.  Appeals must be received by the deadline on your Notice.  See our Hearings page for more information.

What happens if my renter was given a fine but they won’t pay?  

A code enforcement case record is associated with your property for unpaid or unresolved renter violation(s) and the case will remain open until the fine is paid.  A check of any open code cases is conducted when Planning Services staff review renewal applications and renewals will not be approved until all outstanding code cases have been closed.  Often this means that owners pay outstanding fines on behalf of renters in order to not jeopardize their VHR Permit renewal.  Owners may utilize civil options to try to recoup the money from the renter.

Local Contacts

How do I become a Certified Local Contact?

Please see Planning Services' VHR Permits page for more information.  https://www.edcgov.us/Government/planning/vhr 

How do I learn more about the VHR Ordinance and its requirements?

The VHR Ordinance is located in Chapter 5.56 of the El Dorado County Code of Ordinances which can be found online or via our Links page.  Please contact Code Enforcement staff if you have further questions or need clarification.  It is the responsibility of professional property managers and Local Contacts to educate themselves on ordinance requirements, the permitting process, and the enforcement process. 

What happens if I'm unable to respond within 30-minutes to a complaint?

The VHR Ordinance requires Local Contacts to be available 24/7 to respond to the property within 30-minutes of a complaint, usually from a neighbor or call from a Sheriff's deputy.  Failure to answer your phone or promptly respond is a violation of the VHR Ordinance for which the owner is responsible.

Renters

I received a citation from a Sheriff’s deputy during my stay.  What do I do?

Police reports and copies of Sheriff’s citations are forwarded to Code Enforcement for further investigation.  You will receive a Notice of Violation in the mail from Code Enforcement if the violation is confirmed.  The Notice will be mailed to the address listed in the police report or deputy’s citation.  

I received a Notice of Violation from Code Enforcement.  What do I do?

Notices are issued as a result of an investigation and determination that a violation has occurred for which you are responsible for.  You may either pay the fine or request an administrative hearing if you dispute the merits of the violation.  See our Hearings page for more information.

How do I pay the fine?

Please mail a personal check, cashier’s check, or money order payable to “EDC Code Enforcement” to our Placerville office:

El Dorado County Code Enforcement
2850 Fairlane Court
Placerville, CA  95667

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept credit card or ATM payments at this time.  

I don’t think my Notice of Violation is fair.  How do I contest it?

You may request an administrative hearing if you dispute the merits of the violation or penalty being assessed in your case.  Appeals must be received by the deadline on your Notice.  See our Hearings page for more information.